Diane Warren and Lady Gaga’s searing anthem “Til It Happens to You,” from the sexual assault documentary The Hunting Ground, garnered the songwriter and pop icon an Academy Award nomination for best original song, as well as a Grammy nod for best song written for visual media — so why was only Warren’s name listed when the song received an Emmy nomination Wednesday (July 14) for outstanding original music and lyrics?
According to a Television Academy representative, “The minimum cue sheet percentage for eligibility is 20 percent. Diane and Gaga worked it out internally that Diane had 90 percent, so Gaga was not eligible and hence did not join Diane on the entry form.”
Neither the Grammys nor Academy Awards set eligibility bars on songwriter percentages. While Warren had always maintained that Lady Gaga contributed to the song, including the arrangement, this is the first indication of how much (or little) input Gaga had in the actual songwriting process. In January, songwriter Linda Perry asserted via Twitter that Lady Gaga only changed one line in “Til It Happens to You” and questioned why she was included in Warren’s Oscar nomination. Warren later tweeted: “The song is the result of a special collaboration between myself and Lady Gaga…When I called her and played her the song, it was more of a somber ballad, but she really made it epic. She made it hers and took it to another level by arranging the shit out of it and singing the shit out of it.”
With Thursday’s nomination, “Til It Happens to You” becomes the first song nominated for a Grammy, Oscar and Emmy. The documentary’s short theatrical appearance qualified the film for the Academy Award, while CNN picked it up for a television run. In addition to the song nomination, The Hunting Ground also received an Emmy nomination for exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking.
“Til It Happens to You” is Warren’s first Emmy nomination. She has received eight Oscar nominations and 10 Grammy nominations, including winning the Grammy in 1997 for Celine Dion‘s “Because You Loved Me” from Up Close & Personal.
On the Sept. 18 Emmy Awards, “Til It Happens to You” will compete against original songs from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Empire, Galavant and Garfunkel and Oates.
Representatives for Warren and Lady Gaga did not respond to requests for comment.